As I write this, it is still bitter cold and, while we have missed the bad storms that many of our neighboring states have endured, it seems like this winter will never end.
So it was with great relief to be able to go to the International Motorcycle Show in Rosemont a couple weeks ago and rub shoulders with thousands of other bikers. GWRRA had a small booth at the show and Earl was tasked at the last minute with staffing the booth. I’m happy to say that several of our Z2 membership came to his aid! Thanks Tony (both Saturday and Sunday). John & Katie McHugh and I were there Saturday morning. If I missed anyone I apologize. Other area chapters also contributed help and the event seemed to be a success as we got the names of several potential new members for our Chapter and a number of new potential members for GWRRA. I hope they find a way to enhance the booth space next year for even a better presence. We are proud to have Earl as both a member of our Chapter and serve as a District Officer, and it’s good to have his home Chapter support him.
The show itself was great to inspire visions of what’s to come. Many bikes, the Polaris, and tons of apparel and bling helped shake off the winter blues.
We had great attendance at the Medic First Aid training with 13 people showing up (3 from Chapter DK). The 4.5 hour training, new for some and a review for others, is a major benefit of GWRRA membership. It also means our fellow riders are better prepared in the event of mishap while on one of our rides. This should make us all feel better and stress how much safety means to GWRRA. Earl did his usual great job, as the sole MFA trainer in northern Illinois. If anyone is interested in becoming a trainer, Earl is accepting applications!
We learned about a new program called Yellow Dot that helps everyone, including motorcyclists, register important contact or medical information that is accessible by first responders. I hope to have more information, and the Yellow Dots at our next meeting for anyone interested. The medical card is kept in the glove box of your car or bike and a Yellow Dot is placed on your car window or bike windshield to alert first responders that this information is available during a period of time called the “Golden Hour”, that period of time which is most vital for those injured, following an accident.
The following day about 20 of us convened at Al’s Charhouse in LaGrange to partake of a great dinner. This annual event, arranged by Doug Koglin, is a chapter favorite and more than one person suggested an encore performance later in the year. The quantity, quality and value (low price) for this dinner is hard to beat. Thanks, Doug!
March 14 is another round of training sessions. Here is the list Earl has prepared:
- Helmet Myths…. Things you should know about helmets (about 30 minutes)
- Sharing the Road. M.A.D. class (about 40 min)
- Going, Going, Gone. Trip Planning (about 40 min)
- Group Riding. What to expect from others and your responsibility to the group you ride with (about 1 hr.)
This event starts at 1pm at Immanuel Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall in Elmhurst. Check our Event Calendar on the website for further location details. Following the training session is our Potluck Dinner. Scheduled to start around 4pm, everyone is welcome, even if you don’t attend the training. Please sign up or let me, or one of officers, know if you are coming so we can properly configure the food choices.
Looking ahead to April, we have a Safety and Apparel Seminar being conducted at Fox Valley Cycles in Aurora starting at 11am. They will have coffee and donuts and special presentations. This event is not a public event and was set up for our Chapter, so your support is encouraged.
On April 25, Billy’s Biker event is scheduled to help us get some advice and help on wrenching our bikes. We thank Billy for hosting this. Kind of like the tulips coming out, we know spring won’t be far away!
I have re-created a half-sheet flyer that identifies our Chapter, meeting times and place, along with website. Placing these at popular biker locations (e.g. Des Plaines Honda, Fox Valley Cycles, etc.) can help with our membership efforts. Thanks, Barb Kopchok for printing all of these for our use. If you have a place to drop these off (popular restaurant?) let us know. If you are going to a biker event that you think these can be used at, we’ll get you what you need.
One last item, we may have a source for Chapter apparel, shirts, hats, etc. After some discussions we are leaning towards a beige color, button down shirt with Chapter colors for some of the embroidery. Hats may be similar. Please let me know what you think about your preferences and if you will be interested so that we can plan accordingly. We hope to have a nice choice of product at reasonable prices. Having a “Chapter Identity” is fun and reinforces the solidarity of our group.
Our next meeting is scheduled for April 12.
Please keep your cards and letters coming! Ideas on rides and events are appreciated.
Jim & Barb Kopchok